There are many job ads on LinkedIn, but are they all reliable ? Sidonie Labbe, our Analyst Manager, investigated.
As I was scrolling through LinkedIn, I noticed that several job ads had been posted on behalf of our company, Asquare Partners, without us being aware of it.
After conducting my internal investigation and making sure that no one at Asquare Partners was behind these ads, I decided to investigate.
SAVING PRIVATE DATA
After a few clicks, and having tried to apply to our “own ads”, I discovered other ads related to Asquare Partners and 2 suspicious websites.
These 2 sites, Jooble and Empregro, present themselves as aggregators and curators of job opportunities. In reality, they scrape ads across the web and collect everything they can find to republish it on their own website and on other platforms, including LinkedIn. They do not bother to get the company’s agreement or even check if the job opportunity is still open.
The problem with these ads is that, officially and visually, on LinkedIn they were linked to our company’s page, but in reality, our administrators had no control over these ads and had no access to the applications.
It is therefore possible that, when you apply to a LinkedIn job ad, the job is no longer relevant, the presentation or location of the company is not correct and what is more, no one will have received your application.
Maybe an even bigger issue is that these aggregator websites are phishing for your data. Asking you to create an account to have access to the job post or to send your CV first, in order to redirect you to the original job ad, which may then announce that this job is no longer available.
WHAT IS LINKEDIN WAITING FOR ?
While browsing the LinkedIn help forum, I read that hundreds of companies were complaining about the same issue. For some of them, it went further with hundreds of fictitious ads posted on behalf of their company. In some cases candidates had been contacted by fake recruiters, and unfortunately, sometimes it went as far as identity theft.
After making enquiries I realised that NGOs, private companies and public institutions were all facing the same issue.
I contacted LinkedIn and they responded relatively quickly (within 3 days) to our request, deleting the job postings and ensuring that this wouldn’t happen again.
For our company, as with many others, this practice could really damage the brand in many ways.
- Reputation damage : we have no way of knowing who applied for these jobs and cannot contact these potential candidates, who would obviously think that we have received their applications but were ignoring them.
- Incorrect information : we do not have the means to modify the layout and content of the ad, which is often degraded by automatic scrapping-posting.
- Lack of control : We do not have the possibility to remove these ads once the positions are filled, and we do not have the possibility to communicate about fake positions.
- Data theft : when candidates apply, they send their CVs, and unfortunately the websites take advantage of their data, probably by selling it.
It seems that LinkedIn, in an attempt to stay in the pole position of job hunting platforms, has set up partnerships with aggregator websites to be able to scrape all the ads that do not appear on LinkedIn.
Initially the idea is not a bad one: allowing job seekers to see job opportunities for which recruiting companies do not wish to pay LinkedIn to publish them. This project emerged after LinkedIn acquired Bright. Bright offers a technology that scrapes data to match job seekers and recruiting companies. Building partnerships with questionable external platforms might not be the best idea.
WHO CAN YOU TRUST ? WHERE TO APPLY ?
The easiest way is to make sure you contact someone from the HR department, a headhunter or the contact person for this position on Linkedin (this would be impossible for a fake ad but often appears for a genuine one, even if not systematically), or to apply directly to the website of the company you are interested in.
If you do not receive any feedback following your application via LinkedIn, try to contact the headhunter or company directly.
If you spot a false ad, you can simply report it via Linkedin. Should you see a fake ad in your company’s name you can report them and then contact the Linkedin Support Services.
By Sidonie Labbe, Asquare Partners Analyst Manager